Add Depth Jumps To Your Routine
Unlike road running which tends to be rather flat, trails often feature an undulating terrain that has you repeatedly going up and down. While this breaks up the monotony, it also presents a huge challenge to your body. Downhill running can be especially tough as it forces your body to absorb a tremendous amount of pounding. Adding plyometrics into your routine is a great way to prepare for the demands of trail running.
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To get your body ready, add box jumps to the beginning of your strength routine a few times a week on non-consecutive days. Focus on jumping onto the box in one quick, explosive movement. Once you’ve mastered the basic box jump, move on to depth jumps. This plyometric variation prepares your body to absorb force while you’re barreling downhill on your favorite trail.
Start by standing on a box with your knees slightly bent. Step off the box and land with both feet on the ground. Try to land as softly as possible by bending your knees slightly upon hitting the floor. That’s one rep. Step back up on the box and repeat. Aim for three to five perfect reps before resting and repeating the set. For those without a box, jumping rope and single leg hops on the ground can present a similar challenge. For both, focus on staying light on your feet and landing softly.